Some Quotes About 505s

"The 505 is really my favorite class because it is so lively and responsive in all types of wind and sea conditions. ...after having sailed all types of dinghy and all types of keelboat I would like to tell you that no other boat is able to give one so much pleasure as this one."

Paul Elvstrom

Expert Dinghy and Keelboat Racing
Four Time Olympic Gold Medal Winner and World Champion in multiple classes

"All told the 505 is an superb boat for what it is. I have yet to see a one (single) trapeze dinghy that performs better over a broad range of conditions. The FD, 470, Fireball, Korsair, ... do not, in my opinion, have the same happy blend of performance, power, expense, and tolerance for different crew weights that a 505 does.... if you are looking for a mainstream, high performance, doublehanded racing experience, the 505 is a good place to look."

Bill Beaver International Canoe US-57 & 185
International Canoe and Moth builder and sailor

"505s off Santa Cruz; the ultimate dueling weapons."
attributed to a Santa Cruz boatbuilder.

"Overbearing in victory, surly in defeat."
a tongue-in-cheek slogan from a 505 Regatta T-shirt

"Fast, fun, exiting."
a 505 class slogan.

"Give a call. Take a ride. Never go slow again."
another class slogan.

"I have to say that the combination of the 505 being a high end racing machine and the group of 505 sailors being so incredibly helpful makes this class awfully attractive as a permanent home. I've tried a few other classes, and this one is heads above..."
Geoff Cashman
recent recruit to the 505

"The 505 is definitely the definitive single wire boat.
A real classic that still holds its own. Even now 5000 and Bosses are slower up wind in a blow!!"

" I am a great 505 fan. It has been a timeless boat and will continue to be THE definitive single wire boat....

The 505 has proved itself in the most difficult test of all, the test of time."

Peter Holton
49er marketer

"I admit it. 505 sounds quite cool. Although to a outsider, telling him that you sail a 505 he will most likely ask you if you want your Martini shaken or stirred :-)...."

Tobias Beckmann
German Laser 5000 sailor

"It's a huge relief to find a class to sail in after college, a boat that's actually FUN to practice in! For anyone who's on the fence or inquiring about the class, go for a ride, I know you'll get hooked and getting up to speed isn't hard. And if you think it's just a "Blast-out-to-the-corner" boat, think again, these guys can hang in the best classes. But don't take my word for it, try it, you won't be disappointed, with the sailing or the partying."

Chris Museler
intercollegiate sailor

"I heard a hissing sound, and when I looked up, you guys looked like the four horsemen of the apocalypse blowing by."

A Laser sailor to four 505 teams after a race in which they had passed him on a windy close reach

"After sailing 505s, sailing 470s on a windy day doesn't scare me any more."

Steve Benjamin
470 Olympian
1980 505 World Champion - with Tucker Edmunson

"Don't miss the opportunity...when you die, you stay dead for a very long time!"

Pip Pearson
President of the International 505 Class Yacht Racing Association and Paul Elvstrom's crew in the 1966 and 1985 505 World Championships

Flight 5o5

"... get me on flight number 5o5, get me on flight number 5o5...."
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
The Rolling Stones!

When asked why he thought he and Jeremy Robinson had won the 170 boat, 505 1995 UK Nationals, the great Bill Masterman gave this reply...

"Because the others were slower!"

Bill Masterman
1995 505 UK National Champion and 1995 505 World Champion crew

"Without question the best World Championship I have covered .... in my 30 year career .... extraordinary camaraderie."
Ian Grant
Yachting Journalist
discussing the 1996 505 World Championship in Townsville Queensland, Australia

"I have to say that after 2 years of searching for a class, I have finally arrived on one where many of the sailors are as nuts as I am. The boat obviously breeds this insanity with its blend of speed, technology, durability, and "tweakability". More importantly, after 3 regattas with three different boats and skippers, I can attest to the character of the class."

Jesse Falsone
recent convert from leadmines

"... I had thought that I was really too old for the 505 until I went for a sail with Allan Johnson and he made it all so easy to do from either position. The boat was so well laid out that flying the spinnaker from the trapeze was a snap. High performance fun. I have decided that you can't get too old for a 505 and look forward to more fun on the wire."

Jim Willet
Raced 505s 1969 - '71, his comments after sailing a 505 at the West River Sailing Club Open House - after a 25 year hiatus from 505s....

"The ideal crew weight for a 505 is between 320 and 340 pounds. The best distribution of that weight is at least 60% on the wire, leaving 40% in the back of the boat. The most likely gender for an adult weighing less than 135 lbs. is female. The strength disadvantages of the female physique can easily be compensated by increasing purchase on main sheet and perfectly timing maneuvers such as spinnaker hoist and dowse. In twenty years of racing 505's on local, national and international levels, I found no disadvantage to being female. The gender issue faded as soon as I got into the boat. One reason I chose to sail in open competition rather than women's regattas was that I found the competition more sporting and the boat a delight to handle. Being careful to sail early enough in the season and maintaining a modest workout program was sufficient to make me feel I could handle the boat with very little more effort than most other helms. As in any high performance dinghy, coordination with the second person in the boat is critical. With the weight distributed primarily toward the front of the boat, communication through maneuvers is crucial as the heavier person plays a major role in steering the boat with weight. Rudder angle can sometimes be impaired by weight placement. Sailing with a consistent and responsive partner is ideal. This is a challenging and rewarding boat to sail in any conditions. I highly recommend the class to anyone looking for a hard-fought sense of accomplishment and pure enjoyment."

Sally Lindsay,
Yachtswoman of the Year, 1974 and 1975
505 North American Champion, 1978

Comments from Shona Moss

On Ages in 505s...
"My Dad does race 7687 every Wednesday night and he is in his 50s. We also have a guy at our club who is in his mid 50s and he started sailing a 505 just several years ago."
On optimal weight for a 505....
"Steve and I are actually pretty optimal weight. Me ~150-155[lbs.] Steve ~185-190 [lbs.]"
On Women Racing 505s.....
"Most definitely women can race 505s competitively!

I "officially" started helming the 505 for my Dad when I was 13 years old. At thirteen I was not much use on the wire. My Dad would play the main up wind when it was windy so I could just focus on steering. I helmed for him until I was 16 - 17 (got into youth classes - laser 2 - by the way, a laser 2 in breeze is made a lot easier after sailing 505s for so many years!!). Dad and I won a race at the 505 N.A.s in Virginia, [in 1984], when I was 15.

I have an amazing memory of sailing in Goderich [Lake Huron] when I was thirteen.... It was a very cold, wet, and windy weekend... In fact, racing was cancelled on the second day because of too much wind... we did have one day of sailing with HUGE waves and lots of wind. I recall in particular rounding the windward mark and heading off downwind. My Dad was sitting on the centreboard trunk with a hand on each trunk (no spinnaker flying for us) and I actually grabbed the tiller instead of the tiller extension to help control the boat. I remember thinking to myself "Oh my God, I'm going to die!!" I remember expressing my unease to my Dad and he responded by saying something encouraging and then telling me to keep the boat underneath the mast. Anyway, experiences such as these with one's parents are wonderful and I think that these experiences would not have happened if we had sailed a slow boat or if I'd been plunked into a square Optimist, by myself, and told to race around little triangles. I remember being pretty proud of that day, when I got in off the water and a little scared about going back out again!

What was great about sailing with my parents was that there was no huge focus on winning. Of course winning is nice but being at the back of the fleet and giving it your best is just as good as winning! I don't see all that many parents sailing with their kids, knowing that they could sail with another adult and probably do better, these days. (just an observation) The opportunity to take part and give it your best is what it is all about."

On sailing the 505......
"I've sailed quite a few boats now but I always keep coming back to the 505 because the boat is FUN, it has a lot of power, and the people who sail it are great people (good competitors). I also like the complexity of it i.e. adjustable sail plan controls...."

Shona Moss Lovshin
Alberta 505 Champion 1995, 1996
Gold Medalist - Pan American Games - Laser Radial 1991
Olympic sailor (Europe Dinghy) 1992
North American Laser Radial Champion 1994

"The 505 is an advanced, technical, responsive & exhilarating dinghy, which does not 'discriminate' the sailor by size, strength or sex. As a 58 kilo female helm my heavy weather technique and ability to alter the rig to the conditions gave me the opportunity to win world class races in 30 knots plus....
Competitive racing in ALL conditions is what yachting is all about, when were the Olympics last held in the perfect sailing conditions? And come to think of it what IS the definition of perfect sailing conditions?"

Debbie Jarvis
8th at 1993 505 World Championship, Travamunde
8th at 1994 505 World Championship, Durban
2nd at UK inland championship
2nd Europa Cup Le Lavandou (110 505s)

"... 5o5's are rapidly becoming the hip boat for the way fast post-college sailing crowd, and the N.A. standings were peppered with familar names from ealy 90s college sailing"

Sail Globally
Racing Beat, Spinsheet magazine,Vol. 2 Issue 8, September 1996

"Why We Race 505s Instead of the latest fad dinghy.....

Sailboat racing is not just about the fastest boat. If what you really wanted was the fastest boat, a fast multihull, Yellow Pages Endevour, or Slingshot would do the trick. No high performance dinghy comes close to those speeds. The truth is we are looking for more than just speed in a a boat. As an analogy, my dream race car would be a Ferrari GTO or Formula One, not a dragster (which is much faster in a straight line).

We are looking for great racing, a boat that handles a wide range of conditions and a wide range of crew weights. We want a boat that lasts forever, that does not cost a great deal to race, that can be sailed hard in 30+ knots and is still fast in drifters, can race on the ocean, or in strong wind against tide conditions. A boat that is not just fast, but easy to tack and gybe so it remains tactical despite the speed. A boat you can take someone unfamiliar with high performance boats out for a ride in. A boat that you can carry a sandwich, a couple of beers, a screwdriver and a spare dry top in. A boat that you can practice in on the ocean on a windy day without requiring a crash boat to ensure you get back to shore. A boat that you can easily heave-to in between races to enjoy your sandwich and beer, or complete a repair. A boat that is easily adjustable so that we learn about sail shape and rig tuning, and we can easily optimize the boat for our crew weight and the conditions. A boat that is easy to launch and recover, and easy to throw on the roof of a car. A boat that is easy to self rescue if it capsizes. A boat that you can sail up to a dock and step out of. A boat that has multiple builders who compete to offer us the best boat at the best price. A boat that you can rig yourself - if you want - to try out some new ideas or just save a little money. A boat that you can even home build if you want to try some more different ideas or save more money. We want great regattas at the local, national and international level. We want to go to 100+ boat World Championships, and race against friends old and new from over ten countries. We want to be able to race competitively while still having full time jobs and families. We want to race against people who have won World Championships in the 505 and other classes, and against people who have done Olympic campaigns and gone to the Olympics. We also want to race against people who have never won a race or regatta (the 505 class doesn't care if you are a rockstar or a newcomer to dinghy sailing - you are more than welcome in the 505 class) Quite apart from the on-the-water stuff, we want to hang out with a great bunch of people at regattas, party most evenings and maybe even try to learn to party in the bar as hard as the UK 505 team (grin)"

Alexander Meller
5o5 sailor since 1977

In response to a statement...." sail dinghies. grown-ups sail yachts. and women donít sail".

"Active adults sail fast dinghies. Yachts are the refuge of those who canít co-ordinate. And women are welcome"

Frank Bethwaite
author of High Performance Sailing and designer of the Taser

"The 505 is the best boat I have ever sailed"

attributed to Ross McDonald
Star World Champion, Star North American Champion and Olympic sailor (for Canada)

"This class is the most friendly, helpful and sportsmanlike class in existence; always has been, ever since I first sailed them nearly 40 years ago...."

Dave Eberhardt, 505s US65xx (ex-861, 2514)
505 sailor from the early days of the class, who recently returned to the class after a 20+ year hiatus


505 are by far the nicest boats to sail, especially on the sea. The competetion is stronger from overseas making it most interesting. Currently we have 8 countries who are capable of winning World championship races. 505 sailors are generally older with more disposable income. I. E. they are more expensive to run and buy. 505 sailors drink more!! ..."

Ian Pinnell
past Fireball World Champion, past 505 European Champion

"I'm looking forward to after the year 2000 when I can come back and race in the 505 class."

Chris Nicholson
1992 and 1994 505 World Champion,
1995 and 1996 Australian 18 Grand Prix Champion
1996, 1997, and 1998 49er World Champion
Two time Australian sailor of the year.

Ed. In 2003 Chris Nicholson returned to the 505 class and with his brother Darren crewing narrowly won the 505 World Championship. The Nicholsons are now three time 505 World Champions.

"Keelboats are for elderly people."

Paul Elvstrom
at age 70

"This weekend at CORK convinced me that I need to take the leap and join the 505 class as an owner/driver. The class has helped my understanding of sailing exponentially in just a year. I think the only way for that to continue to grow (and what I really want to be doing anyway) is by driving a 505 regularly. The best way I can see to get into this is by owning one"

Dustin Romey
One Design racer and J World sailing instructor

"Why does a youth team like a 505? In our case 8535 Rondar boat?

  1. It goes like a rocket (PY 906).
  2. On our lake you can beat well-sailed RS400s (PY 936).
  3. A 3-sail reach is awesome above 15kt.
  4. A 505 looks like a grown-up 420, it feels like a grown-up 420, it IS a grown-up 420.
  5. You can actually tune the boat on the water.
  6. No more sticking spinnaker poles to the tank and thwart with Velcro.
  7. When your 420 helm suddenly grows 1 ft and adds 3 stone, what else can you do?
  8. 505s are very comfortable at sea, and seaworthy.
  9. 505s can be hauled up a ramp by a tired crew, without injury.
  10. People help you eg. at Hayling Island SC, Bill Masterman, David Smithwhite, Mark U-B, Paul Young, with advice and tuning runs.
  11. Assuming you have done a bit of race coaching, you can feel good in 505 right away, on day 1, 5 miles offshore.
  12. Assuming the race coaching bit, contrary to certain popular opinion in the bar, you CAN wire-to-wire tack a 505 and enjoy it!
  13. 505s are hard to capsize, but it can be done whilst reaching in a gust with the crew flat wiring, steering, and holding the spinnaker sheet, with the helm lying on the foredeck getting the rest of the ropes out from under the boat.
  14. 505s last a long time.
There you have it: there may be more, better, seasoned comment later."

David Cram
Recently bought a used 505 for his boys

Ian, why have you decided to come back to 505s for this event?
"The 505 championships are a really good, fun event to do. I have sailed them competitively since the early '90s because I wanted to do the best sailing I could outside the Olympic classes and won the worlds in '93.

It is a brilliant boat, you can race it in 35 knots or five knots and it is still a good boat. They have recently increased the size of the spinnaker and that has made it even better and there are other improvements in the pipeline with the hull weight and the introduction of carbon spars. In summary is the most fun boat you can sail internationally."

You mentioned about the larger spinnaker - have you noticed the difference?
"I haven't sailed with the old one for so long, however it has made a big difference as downwind we are now reaching all over the place. In truth, we don't really need a gybe mark anymore. Before it required 14 knots for reaching downwind (as opposed to straight running). I thought it would drop to 12, but the reality is that it is nearer eight knots depending on the wave pattern. So it is very similar to asymmetric sailing"

Ian Barker
1993 International 505 World Champion and 49er silver medalist at the Sydney Olympics
quotes from a Steve Arkley interview in the January 17th, 2003 Yachts & Yachting

My first wild trapeze boat was the great 505 while I was at the Univ. of Wisconsin in 1958. I and a French student friend of mine got a hold of a beat up one, fixed it all up, total new varnish job, added some funny crude ball bearing homemade blocks I hacked together for our iceboats and ripped off for the 505.

Classes? What classes? Maybe attend morning classes, just enough to be a student, barely, but then the afternoons were spent tearing all over Lake Mendota in front of the campus yelling our heads off! Foul weather gear? Dry suits? Nah, plastic garbage bags over sweat shirts and Levis was all the fashion we could muster.

The 505 grabbed lots of attention because it was the only boat allowed on the lake by the Univ. Life Guard Station when it was hootin' the tops off the waves. Showing off to the girls was an added bonus until we stepped ashore. Looking at a couple of mad, grinning, soaked to the bone, shivering guys wearing shredded garbage bags didn't seem to impress them. So, we slopped beer without them and saved money to boot!

The 505, what a super boat, I was hooked!"

Peter Harken

Co-founder of Vanguard Racing Sailboats and Harken Yacht Equipment (current President)
as quoted in the SCUTTLEBUTT 1502 - January 22, 2004